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In 1944, a fifty year old British military man named Captain Norval Marleymarried an eighteen year old black Jamaican girl named Cadella Booker.They had a son, Robert Nesta Marley, later known as Bob. He was bornFebruary 6, 1945 in Nine Miles, Jamaica. Captain Marley seldom saw hisson, although he provided some financial support for the family. When Bobwas five years old, he was kidnapped by his father and taken to Kingston,Jamaica s capital. He was reunited with his mother about a year later. Boband his mother lived in one of the most dangerous slums of Kingston. Theseliving conditions later inspired Marley to write a song called ConcreteJungle , which likened the living conditions and poverty in the slum tothe shackles of slavery. Bob s father, Norval Marley, died when Bob wasten years of age. Bob only saw his father for the year that he waskidnapped, and this is what he said many years later in 1978. .my father, was a guy coming from England, yunno, the kind of guy likeduring the slave period: the white who catch a black woman and make her ababy. An English man . I think. Because I only saw him once, yunno. Mymother? My mother is an African While Bob lived in the shanty part of Kingston, there was another familywith a boy Bob s age. His name was Bunny. Bunny became a brother for Bob.They sang together everyday after school. They made their own instruments.With their adolescence voice, Bob and Bunny began in 1960 to build whatone day became the Wailer s music.In Kingston, musicians were developing a new sound, a new mixture of mento(a kind of calypso) and rhythm and blues. The result of this mixture wascalled Jamaican Ska. Bob and Bunny were fascinated with America s rhythmand blues singers such as Fats Domino, and Louis Jordan. The Drifters ,and particularly the Impressions had the most impact on them.Bob, like may other Jamaican teenagers, found music a relief from therealities of ghetto life. All youths were looking for a way out of theendless cycle of poverty. Crime was a solution for some, know as rudies ,but it almost certainly ended in an early death on the violent Kingstonstreets.When Bob attended school, he dreamed of music. However, schoolworkprepared him for big dreams, which would only result in empty solutions.The life he was destined for in Trench Town had nothing to do with mathand science. By the time he was fifteen, he had quit school, and became awelder s apprentice. At least this way he could bring some money into thehousehold.Ska spread like a fever through the restless teenage masses, and Bob waseasily distracted from his welding work as he concentrated on masteringthe new ska harmonies. While welding one day, a piece of burning hot metalflew into his eye and ended his welding career. He told his mother that hewas actually relieved, because it meant he could spend more time on hisrecording career. Noone took him too seriously, because at that time everyone wanted to be arecording star.The people Bob grew up with in the Kingston slums were drawn towards aparticular Rastafarian named Joe Higgs. Bob realized that he couldn t makeany progress with his music without the help of someone else. He neededsomeone who could teach him techniques, like how to project his voice andto hold harmony. Joe Higgs held free music clinics at his home in theghetto, only a street away from Bob s home. So Bob and Bunny attended hisclasses just about every single day.At 16, Marley was desperate for his first album. Little did he know thathis recording career would lead him on a spiritual journey and make himthe Third World s first international superstar.In 1962, Bob Marley released his first album Judge Not with Bunny andanother friend Peter McIntosh. That year, after Bob released that album,he formed the Wailing Wailers. They consisted of Bunny Livingstone, PeterMcIntosh, Joey Brathwaite and Bob Marley himself. The group was named theWailers because in those days we were always crying The Jamaican ska music had changed by slowing down and becoming a littlemore sexual. Bob and the Wailers called the results rude boy music. Someof the first songs of this type were Stir it Up , and Back out ( backout .and shut your mouth .making thing go slow ) Also, the rude boythemes of earlier songs changed to those of social and spiritual issues asthe group became more focused on Rastafarianism.On February 10, 1966, Bob Marley married a woman named Rita Anderson. Thenext day, Bob was on a plane to visit his mother in Deleware. Prior tothat, his mother had written him several times asking him to come visither in the United States. She wanted him to settle there, but he wasimpatient to get back to the Wailers in Jamaica. He worked in America justenough to be able to finance his music, and then he returned to Jamaicaseven months later.In Jamaica, the Rastafarian way of life was taking over many individuals.Bunny had been a Rasta since 1963, and now Bob and Peter allowed theirhair and beards to grow in the Rasta fashion. In 1967, the Wailers decidedto try forming their own record label Wail n Soul , after being pushed

around by producers and conflicts over their developing Rastafarian image.In mid-1967, Bob and Rita, still newlyweds, moved back to Nine Miles. Itwas a time of contemplation and insight for Bob. He spent a great deal oftime reading the Bible and working the land. He was returning to his rootsfor some answers.Their first child, Cadella, was born that year. She was named after Bob sbeloved mother. The Wail n Soul record label produced a few hit singlesthat Bob and that Wailers recorded. The label folded at the end of theyear after many problems emerged, like their lack of business knowledge.In 1968, all three Wailers served jail terms for the possession ofmarijuana, which is illegal in Jamaica, but is used sacredly by theRastafarians. This jail time gave Bob time to think and reflect on hislife, leading up to some of his best music ever. Bunny was in jail thewhole year and, needless to say, it was not anactive recording year for the group. Bob s son David or Ziggy , was bornthat year.That year Bob learned a lot about Rastafarianism. He realized that it wasnot a religion, but a way of life. He learned that Rastas eat food whichis pure, free of chemicals and balanced for good health. Most Rastas arevegetarians, although some eat fish. They also use local herbs and plantsfor medicinal purposes and to spice their foods.In 1970, Bob and the Wailers started another label called Tuff Gong, andreleased a few more albums and singles. That winter, Bob went to Swedenwhere he worked on a movie soundtrack, and also did a tour. Bob and theWailers continued to record on and off until 1978 under that record label.In 1978, the U.S. was still uncharted territory for reggae musicians, andthe Wailers had to slip into the already crowded world of rock and roll.They were fighting a valiant battle on the American music frontier againstgreats such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Wonder.In May of that year, Bob recorded a song called Buffalo Soldier . Thesong was recorded in Miami, and compared Jamaican Rastafarians or dreadlock Rastas , to the black American soldiers during the U.S. CivilWar. Buffalo Soldier is a very revealing glimpse of Marley during thisperiod in his life. Buffalo Soldier ..dreadlock Rasta,It was a buffalo soldier, in the heart of America.Stolen from Africa,And brought to America ..During a concert in New York in 1980, Bob nearly blacked out. Thefollowing morning, he decided to go for a run. He collapsed and wascarried back to the hotel by his running partner. Within days, Marley wastold he had a brain tumor, and he had suffered a stroke when he wasrunning. He was also told that he wouldn t live another month. Everyone,and most of all Bob, was shocked. Despite his illness, Bob insisted ongoing to Pittsburgh for the next show.His wife, Rita, insisted that he cancel the tour. Bob prevailed and playeda brilliant show that night at the Stanley Theatre. Rita contacted Bob slawyer to ensure the tour was stopped. On the 23rd of September, it wasreported that Bob Marley was suffering from exhaustion and the Tuff GongUprising Tour was canceled.Bob was flown from Miami to New York s Memorial SloanKetting CancerCenter, where he was fully diagnosed as having brain, lung, and stomachcancer. He was flown back to Miami where he was baptized as BerhaneSelassie in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, a Christian church, at Rita ssuggestion.Five days later, in a last effort to prolong his life, Bob was flown to acontroversial treatment center in Germany. Dr. Joseph Issels ran theclinic, and had been successful in treating terminal cases before.Bob celebrated his thirty-sixth birthday in February of 1981, in theclinic. When he arrived to the clinic, Marley had lost all his hair, butnow he seemed to be gaining strength and his hair was growing back. Hewas, however, still losing weight. On the eleventh day of may, nineteeneighty-one, a full six months later, Robert Nesta Marley died. His wifeand mother were at his bedside.When Bob Marley died, at the young age of thirty-six, some people believethat the age of reggae music was over. But they failed to notice that hehad become a legend, and a legend s influence never dies. Many musicianshave turned to Marley s music time and time again for inspiration. PaulSimon, Eric Clapton, the Police, and Stevie Wonder are just a few of theAmerican Musicians who were strongly influenced by Bob Marley s brand ofreggae.I believe that Bob Marley is definitely the greatest reggae musician ofall time. I admire him for getting out of the Jamaican slums, and makingsomething of his life. His son David, now know as Ziggy Marley has nowfollowed in his fathers footsteps, and is now a very talented musician.The following is a quote from my favorite song by Bob Marley, NaturalMystic . There s a natural mystic blowing through the airif you listen carefully now you will hearthis could be the first trumpetmight as well be the lastmany more will have to suffermany more will have to die-don t ask me whythings are not the way they used to beI won t tell you no lieone and all have no face reality now tho I ve tried to find the answer to all the questions they ask tho I know it s impossible to go on living through the pastdon t tell no liethere s a natural mystic blowing through the aircan t keep them downif you listen carefully now you will hear

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